'Aftercare' by Jesse Bradley

Our mom won’t stop filling the glass shed we put her in. She keeps trying to make herself denser so she can crack one of the glass panes, escape bit by bit but the glass holds. Mitch and me don’t have to worry about feeding her, but we still have to talk to her to keep her sane. Mom asks us: when am I getting out? Mitch says what I’m thinking: when you stop being a threat to to everyone. We came out to the shed wearing our containment suits just in case the glass does crack and she tries to melt enough of our skin off to make us think twice about locking her away. At night, we see a wisp of green in the glass shed. We’ve seen this color and volume from her before when she’s sleeping. Mitch asks me: what do you think she’s dreaming about? Probably of her old body, the one that gathered wrinkles, had arms that held us, a mouth to seal our wounds, her husband still alive and not the stain she accidentally turned him into.


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